When I walked in the door Thursday afternoon, M was at the gravy stage. The turkey was setting on the side counter and the juices for the gravy were being separated from the fat to make a delicious creamy sauce to pour over everything.
She uses a baster and one of those cups that naturally separates the fat from the juices.
Next it all goes into the giant iron pan whose wooden handle has been missing for as long as I can remember.
Cream is added to the roux, fat and juices to fill it out...
And M squeezes every last bit of turkey juice and pan crackling possible to make the gravy deliciously fragrant and savory.
And we stir. The stirring process goes on for about an hour and everyone pitches in.
There are always potatoes, but never enough. These were gone about 15 minutes after we sat down to the table. She puts cream cheese and a butt load of butter in these suckers. Maybe it is for the best that there aren't enough for seconds and thirds, or we might all suffer coronaries sometime in the evening.
The cook drinks wine....and the wine we were swilling:
E started us out with this 1999 Pine Ridge Zin, and he was a little worried it might be too old. But it was sublime.
At the table we poured out this 2005 Cab-Franc....
A 2003 Grenache and,
A 2006 Pinot Noir which, in my opinion, goes perfectly with turkey.
For salad, M made a watercress, pear and pomegranite mixture that was the perfect foil to all the richness on our plates.
The legendary potatoes:
And the infamous gravy:
It doesn't look like that much food, but by the time I had eaten it I was so full I had a tummy ache. Maybe it was the amazing fresh crab appetizers at B's house.
The table always looks so beautiful. It has always been a dream of M's to open her own B&B. When I look at her holiday table and eat her food I can easily see her being a success. She loves to play hostess.
La Piece de Resistance:
This year she dry brined the turkey instead of wet brining it. It tasted just as good and she said it was much easier. She puts it in a giant bag with Kosher salt and lots of herbs and brines it without liquid breast side down into the salt for three days. The day before Thanksgiving she turns it over so the back gets some salt face time and then pops it into the oven Thanksgiving morning.
K made the dessert and was it delicious.
She treated us to a Martha Stewart apple and cranberry pie....
What I love about this is that it actually looked, tasted and felt in your mouth like real fruit.
Only one thing makes me sad on Thanksgiving night.
I am of the ilk that prefers wait time between dinner and dessert. I think a game should be played and an after dinner drink should be consumed in order for us to work up to our dessert apppetites.
Alas, I could not do this giant slice of beautiful appley-goodness justice. The crust was amazing and I nommed some of that down. All in all it was a wonderful night with amazing food and good company. Even the political conversation did not send the good spirits astray.